One of the most important relationships a senior needs to nourish is with his or her doctor. This takes some advice, planning and effort. Try these tips:
* Find the right doctor: An elderly person needs to communicate openly and comfortably with physicians assigned to his or her care. Make sure physicians are willing to take the time to explain complicated issues in easy-to-understand terms.
* Plan ahead: Prepare a list of questions before arriving at the doctor's office. Seniors and their caregivers may know what they would like to have covered during appointment time, but it is easy to forget once in the examination room.
* Ask questions: When a physician changes medication or treatment, ask why. Ask what types of side effects might result and what his or her long-term goals are. If you don't understand something, speak up.
* Ask for it in writing: Don't be afraid to ask a doctor to write out instructions or information so a senior can review it later. If you need help understanding instructions later, don't hesitate to call the doctor's office to clarify.